Prep 2 hrs
Cook 45 mins
This mild but richly seasoned version of chicken tikka masala is taken to a new place with the use of pumpkin. This recipe calls for canned pumpkin, making it a year-round treat, but an equivalent amount of butternut squash or fresh pumpkin in season makes it a lovely autumn dish as well. If you like a hotter sauce, add more chilis to the saute, but the flavor of the sauce is quite complex. You can also mix in some frozen peas or diced cooked potatoes when the casserole is removed from the oven for variety.
- 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts, trimmed and cut into chunks
- 1⁄4 cup lime juice
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 3 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1⁄2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 tablespoon garam masala
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
- 1 small red dried chili
- 2 cups thinly sliced shallots
- 1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and sliced crossways
- 8 fresh garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
- 2 cups canned pumpkin
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
- 5 tablespoons plain yogurt
- salt and pepper
- cilantro, chopped
- Set the chicken breasts in a casserole with a tight-fitting lid. Mix the lime juice and honey together and pour over them. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
- Add dry spice to a heavy-bottomed frying pan on medium heat, stirring until they darken and become fragrant–this will take about 3-5 minutes. Remove the spices from the heat. Put this mixture into a medium sized bowl.
- Put the pan back on medium heat, and cook the shallots in the oil, stirring constantly until they turn deep golden. Add ginger, chili and garlic, and cook, stirring, until the shallots are a deep reddish brown, the garlic is golden. Remove the mixture from the pan, discard the chili and puree into a fine paste. Add to the spice mixture, then stir in the pumpkin and coconut milk.
- Using a whisk, beat the yogurt into the mix.
- Pour over the chicken pieces, and put a piece of foil over the top of the casserole before fitting the lid tightly over it. Allow chicken to marinate in the refrigerator.
- While chicken is marinating, preheat the oven at 450 degrees F.
- After marinating for an hour, put the casserole into the oven, and bake for 40 minutes.
- Scatter cilantro over the chicken. Best served over basmati rice.
This recipe titled tikka which refers to chunks of meat cooked on skewers. This was missing! A major step of tikka the meat skewered and grilled would improve this recipe. The spices were lost in all the sauce, I suggest coating the chicken with the spice mixture then marinated for 1 hour then apply the cream mixture then grilled. This would bring the dish to a whole another level! Improving it immensely. I used onion in place of the shallots the only change I made. This make lots of sauce the you can double the chicken. Do let the sauce cool before adding to chicken. Placing the chicken breast in a 450 oven for 40 minutes in way to long. A hot oven if skewered and cooked till browned which wouldn`t take 40 minutes. I do love the concept and really wanted this to work. But sure can be made great with a couple changes. Does need charring be it grilling or broiling, which this missed. I do appreciate your efforts in working pumpkin into the recipe. But should have been skewered and grilled. Thanks again.
This recipe was ok, but I would suggest two changes that i feel would make significant but simple improvements. 1. I do not feel that the technique used with the dried chili really contributed any heat or taste to the recipe; I think it would be more successful if incorporated differently. 2. The sauce needs salt! I notice that no salt is incorporated into the sauce; only on the chicken. I feel that the addition of an appropriate amount of salt, maybe 1 - 2 tsp, would have helped to bring out the complex flavors in the sauce. Lastly I did find that I needed to cook this recipe for longer than suggested in order to get my chicken cooked through.
The entire family loved this - even my spice-challenged children! Due to a change in schedule, I wasn't able to make the chicken up ahead to the marinate point and had to do everything at one go. The chicken did get to marinate for 20 minutes (at room temp) while I pre-heated the oven. The cooking time was perfect - my cubes were done to perfection in the 40 minutes. While more labour-intensive than most RSC entries, this is one that really gratifies in honest-to-goodness flavour. Instructions were easy to follow and I wouldn't change a thing! I would like to say that this was not the most appetizing-looking of sauces but, one taste, and you're in curry heaven. Congratulations chef - this is the winner for me right here.